Nick Saban wants you to know that Alabama’s voter registration efforts are not motivated to support specific candidates.
The school has led voter registration drives for athletes and other students as part of movements for social and racial justice over the summer. Saban said Tuesday that he was proud of the way that football players had gotten educated about politics and issues, and said that the drive to get athletes registered had nothing to do with picking one candidate over another in a specific election.
“I’ve been very proud of our players and their response to registering to vote,” Saban said Tuesday. “Being prepared and educated on how they can vote absentee. I’ve been very pleased with that. I know it’s kind of out there — I can tell you we’re not endorsing any candidates. I’ve never endorsed a candidate nor will I ever endorse a candidate or get involved in politics in any way, shape or form. I don’t think that’s my place. But I do think it is very, very important that every American has a voice and uses their opportunity to vote so their voice is heard.”
In addition to their voter registration efforts, Alabama athletes participated in a Black Lives Matter march on Aug. 31. Saban was there with his players leading the march.
Saban has endorsed a candidate
While Saban may be spot on when he notes that Alabama’s voter registration efforts are not designed to support a certain candidate over another, he has previously endorsed a candidate for major political office.
The West Virginia native appeared in a home state ad for Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in 2018 along with NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West and West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins. Saban has known Manchin for much of his life and was the first of the three famous sports figures to appear in the ad.
Manchin won his re-election campaign.
If Saban endorsed a candidate in Alabama, that candidate would probably get a significant boost, even if Auburn fans wanted to vote against that person out of spite. But he’s clearly not going to be doing that anytime soon. And you can probably throw away your “Saban for President” signs too. That’s not happening either.
– – – – – – –
Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
More from Yahoo Sports: